Split is the capital and largest city in Split-Dalmatia County, Dalmatia, and Adriatic Croatia and the largest city on the Eastern Adriatic, while it is the 2nd largest city in Croatia. It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and is spread over a central peninsula and its surroundings. An intraregional transport hub and popular tourist destination, the city is linked to the Adriatic islands and the Apennine Peninsula.
The city was founded as the Greek colony of Aspálathos in the 3rd or 2nd century BC on the coast of the Illyrian Dalmatae, and later on was home to Diocletian's Palace, built for the Roman emperor in AD 305. It became a prominent settlement around 650 when it succeeded the ancient capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia, Salona. After the sack of Salona by the Avars and Slavs, the fortified Palace of Diocletian was settled by Roman refugees. Split became a Byzantine city. Later it drifted into the sphere of the Republic of Venice and the Kingdom of Croatia, with the Byzantines retaining nominal suzerainty.